THE BEST PLACE TO VIEW THE NORTHERN LIGHTS – AURORA BOREALIS.
The most convenient, comfortable and best place to see spectacular Northern Lights is Gangler’s North Seal River Lodge in Northern Manitoba, Canada. These strong and vibrant Northern Lights that dance across the entire sky are best experienced between August 20 thru Oct 15. It is a beautiful and mesmerizing palette of bright green to shades of pink, yellow, magenta and orange. Simply breathtaking. You can travel to other areas of Canada, Iceland, Norway, or Sweden but you may have to be prepared for very cold temperatures or due to cloudy weather, you may not see the Northern Lights at all. In Northern Manitoba, Canada you can view the Northern Lights in comfort right in front of the Gangler’s Lodge in temperatures 36˚F – 55˚F (2˚C to 13˚C). Relax in a deck chair around a campfire, beverage in hand and enjoy the spectacle in the sky. Northern Manitoba is in the “Aurora Hot Zone” and we experience the Northern Lights on a regular basis, so, if you are here 4-5 days you can be sure you may see them while here.
100% – Success rate of our 2019 guests wishing to see the Northern Lights. Most guests watched the Northern Lights multiple nights.
BEST TIME OF YEAR:
Aug. 20 – Oct. 15
BEST VIEWING TIME:
11pm – 3am
AVERAGE NIGHTLY TEMPS:
36˚F – 55˚F
(2˚C – 13˚C)
SUCCESS VIEWING RATE:
Experience The Northern Lights in Comfort Just Steps From Our Lodge While Enjoying Excellent Service From Our Staff.
Experience The Northern Lights in Comfort Just Steps From Our Lodge While Enjoying Excellent Service From Our Staff.
8 Reasons Why The Best Northern Lights Are Here
1. August 1st – Oct 1st is when Northern Manitoba is in the “Aurora Hot Zone” for Northern Lights activity. The KP ranges from 1-10 and KP forecasts of 2-5 can feature some of our strongest nights. (As ranked on Aurora Pro App).
2. Gangler’s is located inland from any sea body. Weather patterns generally move out quickly, ensuring clear weather for visibility and viewing during your visit.
3. Peak viewing period is August thru early October, ensuring comfortable temperatures (36°-55°F, 2°-12°C) when viewing.
4. The North Seal eskers offer a stunning elevated 360° view of the Auroras as they zoom and form across the Northern Manitoba sky.
5. A TOTALLY remote destination, 230 miles from the closest city. This is TRUE darkness, enabling the Northern Lights to be seen at their utmost clarity. The only noise you may hear is the cry of the loon or howl of a wolf.
6. Northern Lights can be enjoyed at our lodge with a warm, personalized setting that is limited to only 20 guests per week. Our staff ratio is over 1:1.
7. You don’t have to sit and wait for the Northern Lights to start happening. We allow our guests to sleep and when the lights start happening, we wake them up to watch the light show.
8. SO REMOTE YET SO EASY TO GET TO.
Fly-in only, located 640 miles North of Winnipeg, at the top of the Canadian Boreal forest and only 60 miles from the Nunavut border, no other Northern destination is as easy to travel to. Guests board our private charter in Winnipeg and land 2 1/2 hours later on our 5400′ private runway adjoining the lodge. Incredible!
What is the Aurora Borealis?
The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are shimmering colored lights that can appear briefly and disappear or build in strength and cover the night sky. Your best time to see the Northern Lights is an hour after sunset until 4 am. They also appear just before sunrise in Northern Manitoba. Depending on where you are in the Northern Lights belt around the world, you have a better chance of seeing them in the hot zones. But what causes the Northern Lights to form?
The Simple Explanation.
Charged particles from the sun travel to earth and hit the atmosphere interacting with the atoms. The electrons in the atoms become active and speed up. As these atoms slow down again they release a photon or light.
The Scientific Explanation.
Ninety three (93) million miles from earth, the sun erupts with solar storms which send gusts of charged particles on solar winds out into the solar system. At speeds of up to 1 million miles per hour, these particles arrive at earth’s outer atmosphere in as little as 4 days. Upon entering the earth’s atmosphere they strike air molecules, exciting the atoms’ electrons and bringing them into a state of high-energy. Electrons in the nucleus of the atom move to a higher-energy orbit around the nucleus. When these electrons slow down and move closer to the nucleus in a tighter orbit, they release a particle of light or photons. We see this as bands of colored lights across the sky known as the Northern Lights.
What Makes the Colors in an Aurora Borealis?
The Northern Lights can display a range of colors from pink, green, yellow, yellow green, blue, violet and sometimes white and orange. These colors are caused by the interaction of solar particles with oxygen, nitrogen and other molecules in the atmosphere of the earth’s magnetic, polar regions.
Most of the time when particles collide with oxygen they produce yellow and green light. When these particles interact with nitrogen they will produce reds, violets and sometimes blues. What type of interaction with the solar particle can affect the color? Atomic nitrogen (N2) interactions will have a bluish result while a molecular nitrogen (i.e., more complex molecules that contain nitrogen) will have more of a violet-purple result.
The altitude at which the interactions occur can also affect the colors. Over 150 miles (241 km) above the earth, red are displayed while below 150 miles (241 km) the greens form in the aurora. Purple and violet occur at altitudes above 60 miles (96.5 km) while blues occur below 60 miles (96.5 km) above the earth.
What Makes Northern Lights Crackle?
If you are lucky enough to not only see the Northern Lights but hear them make a static hiss or crackling, you’ve experienced the ultimate in Light shows. But what makes these dancing and raining light shows produce noise?
In 2012, Researcher Unto K. Laine of Aalto University proved that the Northern Lights were emitting sound from 230 feet (70 meters) above the earths surface. He and his team developed a scientific explanation for the sounds. A region of atmosphere called an inversion layer is created after warm sunny days. Air temperature increases in the upper atmosphere instead of decreasing thus creating a lid, trapping colder air and negatively charged electrons below and positively charged electrons above this region of air mass. When a geomagnetic storm or solar wind hits the Earth and Northern Lights form, the lid breaks open and the charge is released, creating the crackling sounds.
Northern Lights Mythology.
For many thousands of years Indigenous Peoples of the region believed the Northern Lights were spirits of their people in the sky. Additionally, the Inuit of Alaska believed that the lights are spirits of the animals they hunted: seals, deer, salmon, beluga whales, and caribou. Further south where Northern Lights can sometimes be seen in Wisconsin, Menominee Indians believed that the lights showed the way to Manabai’wok, the spirit giants of great hunters and fishermen.
Myths, superstition and speculation about the Northern Lights date back 30,000 years to cave paintings in France with illustrations of the phenomenon. In early civilizations of Greece and across Europe, Northern Lights were believed to be the harbinger of wars, famine and destruction.
The astronomer Galileo Galilei in 1616 used the name aurora borealis to describe them referring to the mythical Roman goddess of the dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for wind of the north, Boreas.
In New Zealand, the indigenous Maori people believed that the lights were reflections of their campfires or torches in the sky.
How to Photograph Northern Lights.
The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, should be on everyone’s bucket list to experience. If you’re spending the time and effort to travel to far destinations of the earth to see these lights, you will most likely want to capture images of your amazing experience. Here are some things to consider before you go.
Suggested Equipment List:
1. Bring a tripod that is sturdy enough to hold your camera and lens up without movement.
2. Bring a lens cloth to clean and remove moisture from your lens. In cold temperatures your camera lens will tend to fog if there is moisture in the air. You will want to check for this during the night.
3. Bring a small flash light to see controls on your camera in the dark. A headlamp is particularly useful, as it frees up your hands to adjust your camera.
4. Lenses: If you own a pro to semi-pro or consumer digital SLR camera you will want to bring at least a 50 mm lens. The lower the f stop on the lens the better (i.e 50mm f2 lens but you can also use a 50mm f4 but your exposure will be slightly longer). The longer the exposure the more the Northern Lights will move during the exposure causing them to blur slightly. Also consider bringing a lens that is in the range of 12mm-24mm zoom and or a 24mm-70mm.This will give you the ability to capture as much of the sky as you wish. (If you are unsure about f stops and lenses, check your camera manual or got to Nikon.com to learn more.)
5. Consider getting a remote control trigger for your SLR. Although it is not necessary, it ensures no movement during the exposure. Generally, if you are gentle when releasing the shutter you won’t get enough movement to effect the image capture.
6. Bring extra batteries. While one battery should be enough for doing some images, you may be taking images all night. If the temperatures are 30˚F – 40˚F (0˚C – 5˚C) the cold temperatures can drain your batteries faster. Keep your spare battery in your pant pocket to keep it warm.
The Simple Camera Setup For Capturing Northern Lights.
Most people have simple consumer cameras and these can work fine for capturing a beautiful images of the Northern Lights. Images can also be captured on your smart phone depending on the model and how strong the Lights are.
Simple Camera Setup:
– Dark night setting: 20 – 30 second exposure. Look on your camera menu for “Time Lapse” and start with 20 seconds and take a picture. Is it bright enough? If not, try 25 seconds to 30 seconds. The more time in the exposure the brighter your image will become. If you can set the ISO in your camera try setting it to 800 ISO. This will let more light into the sensor to make a shorter exposure.
– Dusk night setting: 2 – 10 second exposure. Start at 2 seconds and take a picture. Typically if there is a little light in the sky after sun down this setting should be good enough. If it’s darker then try 5 seconds to 10 seconds.
If you experience problems while photographing at our lodge we have people on staff to assist you.
Digital Pro to Semi-Pro and Consumer Camera Setup:
– Dark night setting: 20 – 30 second exposure. Check your menu for “Time Lapse” and select it. Select 20 seconds exposure. Set your ISO to 800 or a range of Auto ISO 400-800. You may have the option to do sequential images for 2 hours or more if you wish. Adjust time as necessary to get the best image.
IMPORTANT!: Plan your shot during day light. Setup your camera on a tripod where you will shoot and use auto focus to focus the frame. Either turn off your auto focus and tape the lens so it will not move. If you do not wish to tape the lens down, you can memorize the lens focal postion.
PERSONAL NOTE: Once I set the focus on my Nikon lens with auto focus, it was pointing to the left side of the infinity symbol. SO at night, with a flashlight, I manually set the focus to that mark and turned off the auto focus. Most DSLR lenses when manually turned as far as the focus goes “to infinity” DO NOT focus on anything closer than a quarter mile. If you have trees 200 yards away, they will be out of focus. Even experienced photographers make this mistake and set their lenses to the farthest focal position assuming that the farthest focal position is infinity and everything should be in focus.
– Dusk night setting: See dusk settings above.